Lawmakers Recognize National Wildlife Refuge Week

Designation Highlights Wilderness Lands, Acknowledges Values of Refuge System to All Americans

10-12-2010 // Aileo Weinmann
yosemite valley and mountain

The U.S. Senate is recognizing October 10-16 as National Wildlife Refuge Week, continuing a tradition of celebrating the Refuge System during the second week of October.

This week we recognize and celebrate our nation’s sanctuaries for wildlife—the National Wildlife Refuge System,” said Bentley Johnson, legislative representative for Public Lands Campaigns. “For more than 100 years our Refuges have protected vital habitat and provided countless recreational opportunities for those who enjoy connecting with the outdoors. With the growing impacts of climate change, the Refuge System is now more important than ever, serving as a haven for the most threatened birds, fish, plants and animals.”

This year’s National Wildlife Refuge Week is focusing on wilderness lands — the most pristine and undeveloped category of natural lands — particularly those in the 19.3-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

“National Wildlife Federation commends the U.S. Senate for passing the resolution to recognize National Wildlife Refuge Week,” said Johnson. “Senator Kaufman (D-DE) and the others that led this bipartisan effort understand the economic and environmental benefits of our Refuge System. Healthy Wildlife Refuges inject millions of dollars into our local and national economies and provide jobs for thousands of Americans.”

The nation’s wildlife refuges offer a wide range of wildlife-dependent recreation — from fishing, boating, hunting and hiking to wildlife observation and photography, nature interpretation and environmental education. The Refuge System includes more than 2,500 miles of land and water trails.

Find your closest Refuge: there’s at least one in every state and within an hour’s drive of most major cities.

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